Tired of Being Denied Government Services – Sign Your Child Up For Medicaid Waiver Programs

Texas Department of Aging and Disabilities (“DADS”) was the agency that, for many years, parents with children with disabilities reached out to for government assistance of support and services. Texas programs were administered by DADS until its abolition on September 1, 2017.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (“HHS”) is now charged with protecting vulnerable Texans. HHS administers programs formally serviced by DADS, including:

Community Living Assistance and Support Services (“CLASS“)

Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities (“DBMD“)

Home and Community-based Services (“HCS“)

Medically Dependent Children’s Program (“MDCP“)

A common complaint I hear from parents who are in search of help from the government is that their family fails to qualify for support due to household income.  Although income is not necessarily a factor for eligibility for benefits from these Medicaid Waiver programs, waiting on an interest list for can take years.

 

As of July 31, 2017, tens of thousand of Texans are on interest lists. HCS has 86,989 people on its interest list, CLASS has 61,926 people on its interest list, and MDPC has 18,867 people on its interest lists.  Parents should contact HHS and their local benefits provider, such as the Harris Center, to begin the application process.

https://hhs.texas.gov/about-hhs/records-statistics/interest-list-reduction

Changes to Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services

Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Many parents with children with special needs rely on the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) for Medicaid Wavier Programs and other supports and services.  A timeline of changes is provided below.

The Texas legislature approved and passed Senate Bill 200, making it law last summer, but what does that mean for DADS?  In the 1st phase, Texas Health and Human Services Center (HHSC) will have transferred to its control select function of the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), client services of the DADS and the Department of State Health Services (DSHS). and administrative services of the Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) system, set for September 1, 2016.

Further, DARS is scheduled to be abolished September 1, 2016.

The 2nd Phase includes the abolishment of DADS September 1, 2017.

For more information of the transformation of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, click on the link below.

 http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/hhs-transformation/docs/transition-plan.pdf

Katy Autism Support Presentation 4/19

I am excited about my next official speaking engagement! I have been invited to speak at the April meeting for Katy Autism Support.
Support Meeting April 19th, 2016; Special Needs Attorney presentation.

Leona E. Filis, attorney and mother of a child on the autism spectrum will discuss how families with children with special needs can gain more knowledge and information about Special Education Law, Family Law,Probate/Trusts, Guardianship and Medicaid Waivers. Her law practice focus is on the legal services of families with children with special needs. Full description of Ms. Filis’ presentation will be updated as the meeting date approaches.

Date:  Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Time: 7:00—9:00 PM

Location: St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, Asbury Hall, 1st floor, 20775 Kingsland Blvd., Katy, TX

If you have any questions, please send an email to Cynthia Reece at kgreeceman@aol.com.

Free childcare is available, RSVP the special needs ministry coordinator at sarahmorrison@sbcglobal.net for childcare no later than Sunday, April 15, 2016.

Success at the Resource Fair at Memorial Drive UMC

8:30 am is really early to be setting up at a resource fair on a Saturday but we did it! I felt like I was losing my voice around noon because of all the talking I was doing but it was worth it. GinLeo shared information with parents for hours on the importance of getting their kids with special needs on the Interest Lists for Medicaid Waiver Programs, and all of the benefits and therapies that can benefit their children. I saw family members, old friends, and made new friends.

Added bonus – I got a free copy of the 2016 Mikey’s Guide – A Resource Guide for Families with Children, Teens or Adults with Disabilities.

Now I am on the hunt for the next conference.

GinLeo Advanced Special Services, Inc.

GinLeo Advanced Special Services, Inc.

Breaking Barriers Conference

Well the Breaking Barriers Conference was a success! Many parents attended this conference to learn about resources for children with disabilities and to share common experiences. For my early morning presentation, we discussed the importance of getting children with disabilities on the Interest Lists for Medicaid Waiver Programs, regardless of the parents’ income.  Also, the vendor table for GinLeo had a nice flow of traffic from therapists and parents interested in receiving therapy for their children who receive benefits from the C.L.A.S.S. program.  For more information on GinLeo go to http://www.ginleoinc.com.

Breaking Barriers Conference 2016

Breaking Barriers Conference 2016

At Breaking Barriers Conference 2016

At Breaking Barriers Conference 2016

 

Medicaid Waiver Programs

Years ago, I had been advised by my son’s therapist to get my son on the Interest Lists for the Medicaid Waiver Programs, but all I heard was “Medicaid” and I tuned her out. Whether my decision was based on pride or ignorance, I failed my son.

In November 2014, during a holiday break I had time on my hands and decided to make the calls to investigate the Programs.  If you have a disabled child, I strongly suggest you make the calls today.  There are 6 programs I am familiar with – CLASS, HCS, TxHml, CBA, MDCP, and DBMD.  The information regarding the disabled individual you will need to have ready  is the Social Security Number, last name, first name, middle initial, county of residence, date of birth, whether the individual receives Medicaid, mailing address, phone number, your name, the diagnosis, and the length of time of the awareness of the disability.

I called DADS at (877) 438-5658. My son is now on the Interest Lists for CLASS and MDCP.  The call took 8 minutes of my time, but the wait will be years.

A month later my son was added to the HCS Interest List. The wait is 10 to 12 years.

Warning: If you get on the lists, don’t forget to call the agencies when you move – you miss your letter notifying you of your meeting,  you lose your place in line.

-LEF